With its pull-top lids, Skyline Chili can be shotgunned just like a beer.
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Cans of Skyline Chili
Credit: Skyline Chili

It can be tough to wrap your head around just how obsessed the greater Cincinnati area is with chili. Skyline — one of several chains known for their three-way, four-way, and five-way Cincinnati-style chili — has well over 100 locations in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana alone, while their chief rival, Gold Star, has dozens of locations across the same area. Order a three-way anywhere else in the country and you're likely to be given a confused (if not offended) stare.

And because the Cincinnati Bengals have made their first Super Bowl since the 1988 season, chili is, of course, part of the celebration. But not just eating chili. No. Cincinnatians already do that enough to keep hundreds of chili restaurants in business. Instead, Bengals fans are apparently shotgunning chili (yes, beer style) straight from the can.

On Friday, the Cincinnati alt-weekly CityBeat published an article entitled, "Bengals Fans Won't Stop Chugging Cans of Skyline Chili."

"It's been a good luck trend since the team started their winning streak. If the Bengals are up a point? Slam a chili to keep it going. Down? Chug one for good luck," writes author Sean M. Peters. "Thanks to the can's pull-top lid, the same basic principles of shotgunning a beer can be applied to literally shotgunning a can of watery ground beef."

Need visual evidence? We'll spare you here, but the Twitter account for Barstool Sports Cincinnati has an entire thread of people downing cans of chili using proper "shotgunning" techniques where a hole is cut in the bottom of the can and then the top is popped off to allow gravity to help send the sludge down your throat.

But there's more than one way to drink a can of chili. Some fans have employed a more classic chug where they simply drink from the top of the can. Or you can opt for the more refined chili shots, where small amounts of chili are poured into a glass and then poured down the hatch in (hopefully) one gulp.

Interestingly, CityBeat points out that a 15-ounce can of Skyline's original chili has 430 calories. That may seem like a lot, but some of these modern IPAs and other beers can easily clock in at over 200 calories each — and you're not getting anywhere near the protein!

Whether Skyline condones the shotgunning of their canned chili remains unknown, however, they certainly acknowledge their significance as a Cincinnati institution. Today, the chili chain announced they've placed a bet against one of the best-known casual eating joints in the hometown of their Super Bowl LIV rivals the Los Angeles Rams: Pink's Hot Dogs. If the Rams win, Skyline will donate $500 to the Los Angeles Rams Foundation addressing at-risk youth, and if the Bengals win, Pink's will donate $500 to Freestore Food Bank.